Tottenham return to action on July 17th against Stevenage FC and after that head to USA for a three game tour. Goal.com's Adwait Bhattacharya takes a look at all the friendlies.
The club management sacked Harry Redknapp and Andre Villas-Boas was brought in. He has quickly accustomed himself with the scheme of things and has already made two key signings in the form of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen. The best news for the club is that they have managed to retain Gareth Bale but the transfer speculation surrounding Luka Modric is still far from over.
Tottenham would love to put their worries off the pitch as they now see themselves going into a very long pre-season campaign playing seven games, the first of which is on July 17th against Stevenage FC.
|Back to work from July 9th.
New Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas put his players through their paces for the first time on July 9th as their pre-season preparation got underway. He was joined on the training ground by fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha as the players – including new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson – took part in two sessions.
Players who participated in competitive international fixtures during this summer were not at training, nor were players who are headed to the Olympics.
Tom Huddlestone, Younes Kaboul, Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson were all involved in training which involved running sessions, exercises and then a small game to test ball control skills and fitness.
The second day of training next day saw Brad Friedel being tested on goal as several players came up and took shots from long range. There was a running session held afterwards and medical checkups were also conducted.
Tottenham's pre-season campaign kicks off on July the 17th against Stevenage FC after which they will head to the United States on a three game tour. They will then be back in August for a game against Watford. That will be followed by a crunch game against Valencia with a tie against Southend ending their pre-season campaign.
Goal.com looks at the friendlies that Tottenham will indulge in before the season starts in August.
Stevenage FC v Tottenham
|Date: 17th July, 2012
Venue: Lamex stadium, Stevenage.
Kick Off: 07:45 pm BST.
Wednesday, 18th July:
Tottenham start their pre-season campaign by heading to the Lamex Stadium for a friendly against Stevenage FC on 17th July. The Tottenham first team, likely minus the players returning from competitive international matches, will take on the League 1 side.
Tottenham were held to a goalless draw in their most recent visit to Stevenage this season in the FA Cup fifth round before winning the replay to advance.
The match will be a good outing for the Tottenham players as they would love to start their pre-season on a high with a win. Stevenage FC would be looking for a revenge. All in all, this promises to be a closely contested encounter.
About the opposition-
Stevenage Football Club is an English football club based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The club currently participate in League One, the third tier of English football, having won promotion from League Two in the 2010-11 season. They play their home games at Lamex Stadium in Stevenage.
They finished the last season at 6th position thus secured a playoff place in their maiden League One campaign. The club has enjoyed success in national cup competitions in recent years, becoming the first team to win a competitive final at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007, beating Kidderminster Harriers 3–2 to lift the FA trophy in front of a competition record crowd of 53,262. The club won the competition again in 2009, beating York City 2–0.
Mark Roberts is the man to watch out for as he has been rock solid in defence and was named the club's player of the year last season. His performance is crucial if Stevenage FC have to spring out an upset.
LA Galaxy vs Tottenham
|Date: 24th July, 2012
Venue: Depot Centre, Los Angeles.
Kick Off: 07:30 pm ( Local Time )
Wednesday, 25th July:
04:30 am GMT
09:00 am IST.
LA Galaxy will host Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly at the Home Depot Center on Tuesday, 24th July. This is Tottenham’s first-ever visit to Southern California.
This will be the fourth consecutive season in which LA Galaxy host a major international friendly at the Home Depot Center and the second straight season that the club will take on one of the Premier League’s top clubs.
The match is sure to attract crowds in huge numbers as the home team has massive fan support. The fans have a huge interest in the Premier League and Tottenham would love to impress in front of such a passionate crowd. This is sure to be one of the biggest sporting events of the summer here in Southern California and the game will be a complete sell-out.
About the opposition-
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second most-decorated club, after D.C United.
LA Galaxy are the reigning MLS Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield champions. In January 2007, the club made international headlines by signing English superstar David Beckham from Real Madrid in a deal potentially worth $250 million, which was the highest-profile signing in the history of MLS.
Robbie Keane will be the man to look out for as he scored 8 goals in his 20 appearances for the MLS side before moving to Aston Villa for short loan spell where he scored 3 goals in 6 appearances last season.
Liverpool vs Tottenham
|Date: 28th July, 2012
Venue: M & T Bank Stadium, Baltimore.
Kick Off: 01:00 pm ( Local Time )
07:00 pm GMT.
11:30 pm IST.
Villas-Boas' side will head to the state of Maryland to play the fellow Premier League side Liverpool at the impressive 71,000 seater M & T Bank Stadium.
Taking on Liverpool on US soil will be a great experience for the club and one that will really appeal to the fans. Both clubs have a fantastic heritage and matches between the two teams have a history of being exciting, hard fought and high scoring affairs. One would expect this to be no different.
About the opposition-
Liverpool Football Club is an English professional football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside, playing in the Premier League. They have won more European titles than any other English club, having won fiive European Cups, three Uefa Cups and three UEFA Super Cups.
Liverpool was founded in 1892 and admitted into the Football League the following year. The club has played at its home ground, Anfield since its formation, although since 2002 there have been plans to move to a new stadium in Stanley Park. The most successful period in Liverpool's history was the 1970s and '80s.
Joe Cole will be the man to watch out for as he would love to go all guns blazing with good performances to push for a starting place at the club. He had an excellent season with Lille and would love to reproduce that good form for Liverpool.
New York Red Bulls v Tottenham
|Date: 31st July, 2012
Venue: Red Bull Arena, New York.
Kick Off: 06.30pm (local time)
10:30 pm GMT.
Sunday 29 July:
04:00 am IST.
Look out New York. Tottenham Hotspur is coming. Spurs will take to the Big Apple on July 31st to face New York Red Bulls at the Red Bull Arena.
Spurs have played at Red Bull Arena before, playing there against the Red Bulls in the summer of 2010 as part of a pre-season tour that included a stop in San Jose. Tottenham won that match against the Red Bulls 2-1, with Thierry Henry scoring for the home side.
This match is sure to witness huge crowds and Tottenham will have to be really aware of Thierry Henry if they are to win their final pre-season game in the United States.
About the opposition-
The New York Red Bulls are an American professional soccer team based in Harrison, New Jersey representing the New York City metropolitan area. The team competes in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception.The team was a founding member of MLS but has gone through several name changes. The team was originally known as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars through 1997. From the 1998 season through the 2005 season, the team was known as simply the MetroStars. They finished fifth in the Eastern Conference last season.
Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal striker, is definetely not one of the most loved figures at Spurs given the rivalry between the two north London clubs. Tottenham certainly have to watch out for the Gunner in action.
Watford vs Tottenham
|Date: 5th August, 2012
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford.
Kick Off: 03:00 pm BST
07:30 pm IST.
This match was previously advertised as a Spurs XI fixture but the rescheduled date will now see the club take a first team squad to Vicarage Road for Lloyd Doyley’s Testimonial, kick-off 3pm.
The last time these two sides met, Tottenham Hotspur survived a testing encounter to progress to the last 16 of the English FA Cup last season with a 1-0 win.
This match promises to be a tight affair as both teams will give it their all.
About the opposition-
Watford Football Club is an English professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. It is often referred to as Watford F.C, Watford, or by the team's nickname The Hornets.
Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, and the Southern League a decade later. The club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage n 1922, where it remains to this day. They finished 11th in the Championship last season.
Troy Deeney, their No. 9 will be the player to look out for as he has scored 13 goals in 73 appearances and had a decent run of form in the last season.
Valencia vs Tottenham
|Date: 9th August, 2012
Venue: Mestalla Stadium, Valencia.
Kick Off: 09:00 pm local time.
06:30 am IST.
It's all change at both clubs this summer. Andre Villas-Boas has replaced Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane whilst Mauricio Pellegrino is the new head coach at Valencia, replacing Unai Emery.
This away trip will serve as a tough test for Villas-Boas' new charges, while the Spaniards will be keen to fare better than they did against Chelsea - when they were managed by the Portuguese boss - in last season's Champions League group stages.
This is Tottenham's toughest fixture in their pre-season campaign and a win in this would add to their confidence before the season starts.
About the opposition-
Valencia Club de Fútbo also known as Valencia CF, Valencia or Los Che is a Spanish football club based in Valencia. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish and European Football.
Valencia were founded in 1919 and have played their home games at the 55,000-seater Mestalla since 1923. They are due to move into the new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west of the city in 2013. Valencia came third in the league last season. Jordi Alba, one of their top performers, joined Barcelona for the upcoming season.
Roberto Soldado may have been snubbed by champions Spain for their Euro 2012 squad but he remains a consistent goalscorer and attacking threat in La Liga. The 27-year-old is now reaching his peak years and will be eager to make a good impression against the English opposition and ensure he can hit the ground running next season.
Southend United vs Tottenham
|Date: 10th August, 2012
Venue: Roots Hall, Southend United.
Kick Off: 07:45 pm BST
Saturday, 11th August:
Tottenham round up their pre-season campaign when they face League Two side Southend United at Roots Hall on August 10, kick off 7.45pm on a Friday evening.
This match will be the last chance for Andre Villas-Boas to try out different combinations to see what works best, before the season eventually starts.
About the opposition-
Southend United Football Club is an English football club based at Roots Hall Stadium, Prittlewell, Southend-on-sea, Essex, who play in Football League Two. Their home ground is Roots Hall and the club plan to move into a new 22,000-seater stadium located at Fossetts Farm.
The club finished 4th last season in the 2011-2012 campaign. They will certainly look to better their effort this time as they hope to secure promotion to a higher league.
Mark Phillips, who was their Player of the Year for last season will be the man to watch out for as he would be expected to give a good performance at the back for Southend United.
Tottenham's Man to Watch Gylfi Sigurdsson
On 4 July 2012, it was confirmed that Sigurðsson had joined Tottenham Hotspur and he became the first signing for Villas-Boas.
He is an attacking midfielder who was excellent in his loan spell at Swansea last season. His splendid performances encouraged Liverpool and Tottenham to table a bid for the midfielder, and eventually the North London club acquired his services for a price of €8 million.
He was also the Barclays Player of the Month once. He is a specialist on set-pieces, possesses great long-range shooting ability and has been voted player of the season for two consecutive seasons for Reading and Hoffenheim respectively.
His performance will be worth watching out for in the pre-season campaign as he is a player who can really do well for Tottenham if given a chance. He has looked sharp in the two training sessions and will look to replicate that in the first game against Stevenage FC.
|What the Bench-warmers need to do...
Not only will the new signings Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen be looking to prove a point but also the benchwarmers from the last season would want to challenge for the starting place. Giovanni Dos Santos has another good chance to fight for a place in the starting line-up against the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe
Players like Dawson, Huddlestone and Jenas returning from an injury layoff have to put in some tight performances in the pre-season campaign to impress their new boss and earn a starting berth.
In the defensive department, Ledley King has to prove his fitness if he has to become a regular starter for the club. He was on and off last season with not being able to play more than 1 game a week. Kyle Walker would also be returning from injury and would love to make the right back position his own after he played very well in the last season. New signing Jan Vertonghen's performance will also be crucial in the pre-season campaign to see if he can cement a starting place for Tottenham at the back.